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Can't start work due to unresponsive client

jmtaleno
Active Member
Jose Mari T Member Since: Sep 28, 2018
1 of 11
Hello,

I am very happy that I finally got a client yesterday. But since we can't start working yet as they need to setup something on their side first. I am keeping them updated on what I do but I didn't hear back from them about the status of the setup.

I can't start tracking my hours though since I am dependent on them. Is this something that other freelancers have experienced too? Appreciate the responses!

Sincerely,
Joey
prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
BEST ANSWER
2 of 11

Jose:

You made a tactical mistake.

 

You accepted an hourly contract BEFORE you had enough input materials or instructions to start work.

 

Don't do that.

 

What if the contract closes and you never do any work?

 

This WOULD hurt your JSS score.

 

This is your mistake, not the client's mistake.

 

In the future, wait. Do not click the accept button until you hae enough information or input materials to do at least TEN MINUTES of work.


Then, when you accept the contract, quickly do at least ten minutes of work.


That will ensure that you do not end up with a zero-pay contract.

View solution in original post

jmtaleno
Active Member
Jose Mari T Member Since: Sep 28, 2018
3 of 11
Thanks Preston! Appreciate your honest feedback. And I will definitely keep this in mind. I got excited since this is my very first offer as I have been waiting for so long.

Is there anything that I can still do to my situation?
martina_plaschka
Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
4 of 11

@Jose Mari T wrote:
Hello,

I am very happy that I finally got a client yesterday. But since we can't start working yet as they need to setup something on their side first. I am keeping them updated on what I do but I didn't hear back from them about the status of the setup.

I can't start tracking my hours though since I am dependent on them. Is this something that other freelancers have experienced too? Appreciate the responses!

Sincerely,
Joey

 You should not start ANY work before you have a contract in place. What are you updating your (possibly, future) client about?

It is a matter of seconds to send you an offer. Whatever issues the client may have on his side, wait for him to resolve this. I you don't hear from a client for 24 hours, I would not exactly call that unresponsive. 

So be patient, and curb your enthusiasm!

jmtaleno
Active Member
Jose Mari T Member Since: Sep 28, 2018
5 of 11
Hello Martina,

I actually have a contract with a client. But I am not able to start work due to dependecies on my client's end. Yes I stand corrected. I have to work on my patience. The contract will end on Oct 4 though.
wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
6 of 11

Just have some patience.

 

In my experience, it is not unusual for clients to first hire a freelancer and then spend some time getting their documentation or thoughts together. 

 

But you should ask all important questions about the work you'll be expected to do before you agree to do a project. If this is your first freelancing project, you'll need a few more before you figure out how to deal with clients, but assuming the worst is not a good way to start out.

jmtaleno
Active Member
Jose Mari T Member Since: Sep 28, 2018
7 of 11
Thanks for the advice Will! So it seems like clients are usually like that you say?
wlyonsatl
Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
8 of 11

I usually deal with a certain type of businessperson, Jose Mari. The types of jobs you will apply to may be posted by very different types of clients - younger/older, experienced/inexperienced, budget conscious/willing to pay for high quality, knowledgeable about how Upwork works/indifferent to Upwork’s procedures and rules, etc.

 

Regardless, it is in your interest to settle with the client everything important about a project before you agree to do it. You will get better at that with time, and after making a few mistakes. 

 

 

jmtaleno
Active Member
Jose Mari T Member Since: Sep 28, 2018
9 of 11

Yes hopefully. Will definitely keep this in mind next time Will!

kat303
Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
10 of 11

Jose - It is unwise to accept an offer without seeing the material or having any questions or details answered before you accept an offer. All that should be done in the interview stage. Once you have that, you can then accept the offer and start working. (of course, if it's a fixed rate job, escrow needs to be funded before you start working.)

 

On future jobs, you can always message your client and let them know you will accept their offer as soon as you get the material (or whatever) needed for the job.